logo
Home

Search tew.org


What's New

Reports

Wildlife

Geography

Development

Zone of Peace

Dalai Lama

Publications

Announcements

Links

Site Map

*

*

      


Reports


Nu-Salweem Dam

The Nu River is one of China's last free-flowing rivers and is shared by China, Thailand, and Burma. The river originates on the Tibetan Plateau and flows through China's Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site, an area known as the epicenter of Chinese biodiversity. The World Heritage Site contains over 6,000 plant species and is believed to support over 25% of the world's and 50% of China's animal species. Also known for its cultural diversity, almost 300,000 people from thirteen different ethnic groups live in the Three Parallel Rivers Area.
This unique ecosystem and the communities that depend on it for their survival are threatened by plans to construct a 13-dam cascade on China's portion of the river. The projects would displace 50,000 ethnic minority people. Nine of the dams are situated in National Nature Reserves that are located close to the World Heritage site. This triggered UNESCO's World Heritage Committee to issue a warning to the Chinese government in 2005 that any dam construction within the World Heritage property "would provide a case for inclusion of the property in the List of World Heritage in Danger."

In an incredible victory for the burgeoning Chinese environmental movement, in 2004 Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced the suspension of all projects on the Nu River pending further scientific study. However, the Huadian Corporation and the Yunnan Provincial government are determined to develop a scaled-back version of the plan, starting with the construction of four projects.

Communities living downstream in Burma and Thailand have voiced strong opposition to dam construction on the river. Thousands depend on the Nu (known as the Salween downstream) for their livelihoods. Fisheries are a major source of dietary protein for communities, and the river's nutrient-rich waters sustain vegetable gardens and farmlands.

International Rivers is working with a coalition of NGOs to stop the dams and protect this precious resource.
Watch an 8 minute video about hydropower on the Nu River.

Back to Archived Reports List

*


Home | What's New | Reports | Wildlife | Geography | Development | Zone of Peace | Dalai Lama | Publications | Announcements | Links | Site Map

Copyright 1998-2005, Tibet Environmental Watch (TEW)